If you ever visit a schoolyard in the Philippines you will quickly realize that the favorite pastime of the children, both the young and the older, is to stand in small groups and kick a small brightly colored contraption around. That is Sipa, one of the Philippines most popular games.

"I remember when I learned to play Sipa. It was when I went to elementary school. Every break I would run out with all my friends to the schoolyard just to play Sipa. We would rush out as fast as we could so we could spend more time playing. We were really into it. Today when I see children completely engulfed in playing Sipa I always think to myself, wow I was exactly the same."

Rhythm and feeling

Sipa can be played either alone or in teams, with two or more players in each. The goal is simply to keep the Sipa in the air for as long as possible. You begin the game by throwing the Sipa in the air and then kicking it repeatedly with the top of your shoe, the heel of your shoe and your elbow. When in Teams the Sipa is passed between players freely.

Easy to make

The most common and popular Sipa is the Tinga. Made from a flat piece of lead with a hole in it where a great number of plastic fibers are attached. Usually they are melted together at the base so they do not release from the lead. These Sipa's are usually made by local merchants. However, many children make their own using bottle caps they compress together and then punch a hole through in which they attach plastic fibers they collect.

It's a simple and uncomplicated although many of the more skilled children add neat tricks to their moves. For a beginner, just keeping it in the air is a challenge enough. What makes it so loved is its simplicity and the ease of play.  You can play Sipa almost anywhere and it's cheap. Try it for yourselves!

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